Sunday, March 27, 2011

Serving up a 40th birthday celebration.

On a recent Sunday I had a very enjoyable gig to do. Sonia, a customer, had turned 40 recently. To celebrate this milestone, she organised a venue, the Victoria Park Arts Centre, and 11 of her very good friends to spend the day with her. My task was to facilitate a woodworking activity for the day. We designed and carved wooden spoons. It was a great day!

Prior to the participants arriving, I had set up my portable benches and gear. We used only traditional hand tools: carving gouges, carving mallets, curved scrapers, bowsaws and coping saws, spokeshaves and rasps. Many had never done stuff like this before. There were nine different timbers on hand for people to chose from. During the course of the day (either sides of a beautiful meal together), each person designed and made a beautiful and functional wooden spoon. After the tool work, it was just a final light sand and a coat of Orange Oil to finish them off. Twelve people each with a very different spoon with which they were justifiably proud.

Many participants expressed how therapeutic it was to be creative and physical, not things found very often in their busy lives these days. Some had done things they would never have thought possible.  Others just enjoyed using their hands.
Such an interesting variety of spoons were created. So much fun and happy chatter through the day...

I love the process... everyone is on a journey together but each at the same time is on their own journey as they interact with the tools and their chosen piece of wood. Design ideas often change along the way through a number of factors, but ultimately each spoon reflects something of the personality of its maker. Fascinating stuff goes on in the creation of such a simple implement!

The spoon making workshop is my favourite activity of all the different stuff that I do with people.
Happy 40th birthday, Sonia. You and your delightful group of friends each have warm memories and a unique momento of the occaision to remember you by.

Oh, yes, I love these gigs!

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